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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 29 June, 2020

  • 4 Min Read

One Sun One World One Grid

One Sun One World One Grid

GS-Paper-3 Economics

Recently, the Government of India has called for bids to roll-out the ‘One Sun One World One Grid’ (OSOWOG) plan. The plan focuses on a framework for facilitating global cooperation, building a global ecosystem of interconnected renewable energy resources (mainly solar energy) that can be seamlessly shared.

ImpPoints

  • The vision behind the OSOWOG is ‘The Sun Never Sets’ and is a constant at some geographical location, globally, at any given point of time.
  • This is by far one of the most ambitious schemes undertaken by any country and is of global significance in terms of sharing economic benefits.
  • It has been taken up under the technical assistance program of the World Bank.
  • OSOWOG plan may also leverage the International Solar Alliance (ISA), co-founded by India that has 67 countries as members.
  • With India in the middle, the solar spectrum can easily be divided into two broad zones, which are:

Far East including countries like Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Lao, Cambodia etc.

Far West covering the Middle East and the Africa Region.

Three Phases of the Plan:

First Phase: It deals with the Middle East, South Asia and South-East Asia (MESASEA) interconnection.
Fostering cross-border energy trade is an important part of India’s Neighbourhood-first policy.

India has been supplying power to Bangladesh and Nepal and has been championing a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) electricity grid minus Pakistan to meet electricity demand in the region.

The initial plans also involve setting up an under-sea link to connect with Oman in the West.

Second Phase: It deals with the MESASEA grid getting interconnected with the African power pools.

Third Phase: It is about global interconnection.

Significance:

  • The proposed integration would lead to reduced project costs, higher efficiencies and increased asset utilization for all the participating entities.
  • This plan will require only incremental investment because it will not require a parallel grid infrastructure due to working with existing grids.
  • It will help all the participating entities in attracting investments in renewable energy sources as well as utilizing skills, technology and finances.
  • Resulting economic benefits would positively impact poverty alleviation and support in mitigating water, sanitation, food and other socio-economic challenges.
  • It will allow national renewable energy management centres in India to grow as regional and global management centres.
  • This move, during the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, gives India the opportunity to be seen as taking a lead in evolving global strategies.

Backdrops:
India is already expediting ISA's plan to set up the World Solar Bank (WSB) with a capital of USD 10 billion.

  • WSB aims to compete with other newly created funding institutions like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the New Development Bank (NDB).
  • The USA’s withdrawal from the Paris climate deal. OSOWOG will help to mitigate its ill effects on climate by providing clean and renewable energy sources, enabling member countries to fulfill their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) towards reducing global warming.
  • China’s attempts to co-opt countries into its One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, a programme to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure projects, including railways, ports and power grids, across Asia, Africa and Europe.
  • OSOWOG will provide a strategic rebalance in favour of India and will control the increasing Chinese dominance in Asian subcontinent, providing a better alternative to developing countries.

Way Forward

  • The move is the key to future renewable-based energy systems globally because regional and international interconnected green grids can enable sharing and balancing of renewable energy across international borders.
  • It allows grabbing opportunities to learn quickly from global developments and share renewable energy resources to reduce the global carbon footprint and insulate the societies from pandemics.

Source: L.M


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